CHICAGO – In this fast-moving industry, it can be easy to keep your head down, obsess over the latest media metrics, and not really look up to see the bigger picture in life.

But life forced Tracey Scheppach to do just that, when her son Ryan, then aged just seven, was diagnosed with leukemia.

The next three years were rough, as Ryan endured more than 1,722 admissions of 14 different types of chemotherapy, culminating – thankfully – in him being declared free of the disease.

During that time, Tracey – a friend of Beet.TV’s who spearheaded Starcom MediaVest Group’s advanced TV advertising operations until beginning her own consultancy last month – decided to fight, too.

Inspired by Ryan’s own determination, she formed a team to tackle the Chicago triathalon, raising money to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to fund research to find kinder forms of treatment.

By now, Team Brightside – named after Ryan’s up-beat disposition through those dark times – has raised a total of $600,000, mom Tracey says, after she tapped up her SMG colleagues and a growing network of contacts in the advertising industry to run alongside her.

Scheppach, now heading up her own company Matter More Media, will be a keynote speaker at the Beet Retreat in Miami, November 16 to 18. And, on Friday, those around town can join for a 5k walk/run in support of Team Brightside.

More importantly, anyone can also make donations – right now – via Tracey’s Team In Training page.

We are grateful for Tracey coming to share her insights again, and hope that you can support her cause.

We interviewed Tracey and Ryan in their hometown Chicago last month.